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The change was instantaneous and if it hadn't happened to me, I would have never believed it.
For years, a dozen years, people have told me that I would feel differently once it happened to me, but I scoffed. Never, I vowed. It's insane to think something so small could change your entire way of thinking.
But it did.
Just a little after 6:01 p.m. Aug. 28, my youngest child, Spencer, walked through the double doors of St. Mary's Hospital in Athens, Ga. and proclaimed, "We have a baby."
Three weeks later I still get teary-eyed just writing about it.
Andi Caroline Risner arrived five weeks before schedule and weighed only 4 pounds, 12 ounces. But she was healthy. And perfect. And my first grandchild.
Moments later she was brought into the nursery and literally two dozen of her biggest fans crowded around the window to catch a glimpse of a miracle in the flesh. I sobbed. I couldn't help myself.
And it only worsened when the next morning I became the first grandparent to hold this tiny creature, flesh of my flesh. I marveled at her perfection. Rejoiced in her health. And without warning became what I swore would never happen to me: I was transformed from a nonchalant, blasé woman into the obnoxious, doting grandmother.
Tom is astounded at my change. He never expected this from me, and neither did I.
I never imagined being a grandmother. I never longed for it. I truly did not understand how my friends could be so wrapped up in their grandchildren.
And yet once it happened, I cannot imagine NOT being a grandmother – to wee Andi, and Allison's wonderful little stepson, Grant.
Just when I thought the best part of my life was over, I have discovered it is only just beginning.
And the only way to describe it is something mysterious and magical happened to me that Friday night.
There are no other words, except, "Thank you, Spencer and Ashley, for the greatest gift you could have given me.
"And please excuse Gram while she cries just a little bit more."